Review: Dirty London – Kelley York

Posted 16 February, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 11 Comments

Review: Dirty London – Kelley YorkDirty London by Kelley York
Published by Selfpublished on 8 August 2014
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT
Pages: 179
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Purchase
4 Stars

All London Noble wanted out of her senior year of high school was anonymity. The complete opposite of Jasmine, her emotionally unstable baby sister, London has worked hard to stay out of the spotlight.

Then she discovers that Wade, one of the most popular guys in school, is gay like her and their new-found closeness based around their shared secret has half the student body convinced they're hooking up...and a lot of girls aren't happy about it. Now she's been dubbed "Dirty London." Rumors are flying about her inability to keep her clothes on, and London is pretty sure she's developing a crush on the one girl who sees through it all.

If she could admit why stealing boyfriends is the last thing on her mind—not to mention find out what's going on with Jasmine and her rapidly disappearing psych medications—her life would be a much brighter place. But if her and Wade's truth gets out, and if she doesn't find a way to help her sister, London faces losing a lot more than her obscurity.

Dirty London is a different kind of coming of age story, because London needs to find herself again, deal with those who might not accept her, and fight to get her confidence back.

My Dirty London review:

I can’t even tell you how much I loved Dirty London! It is well written, and London is a great character to follow through her journey to accept herself, to find herself and to make sure her last year of high-school won’t be wasted trying to never be noticed. Written in first person present tense, with some added information through London’s blog posts that she uses as her diary, I felt like I got to know her very well, and I couldn’t help but want to cheer her on when she finally was able to let go of her past hurts and start acting the way she wanted once more.

At the beginning, Dirty London shows London in class, where she is secretly crushing on Mara. When Mara asks her to join the drama club, she isn’t sure she really wants to – that is not a way to stay unnoticed by everybody at school after all. Her insecurities are quickly put aside, though, when she realizes she might not be as alone as she thinks she is, and it’s a gay pride parade and market that helps her to start the journey to become her own woman again.

The relationships between the students at London’s high-school were very realistic, rumors, judgemental people and the way everybody is just trying to fit in made Dirty London a great story. London does have a lot on her plate, too, knowing she is gay even if she has never been with a girl is just her normal. Even if her her own sister doesn’t want to spend time with her, she always tries to be there for her anyway. After their parents’ divorce, Jasmine has continued to spend time with their dad, even if he has a problem with addiction. And London wants to make sure that Jasmine is safe and happy, but there really isn’t much she can do to help her out until she actually wants to be helped.

As London opened up to her new friends, I loved seeing how caring she was, and especially when it came to Wade and his own closeted existence as a gay boy in a school where everybody seemed to be very close-minded. Dirty London is a must-read if you want to read a realistic fiction about a strong girl who has everything going for her. The way London dealt with the haters was spot on and she is definitely a character worth to get to know.

Some of my favorite Dirty London quotes:

Our suffering, our happiness, is never eternal. I see things for what they are. Bad shit happens to good people and vice-versa. Some days are harder than others. I sit among my peers fully aware that I’m different.

But I refuse to think that there’s anything wrong with me. I am normal. I am a human being just as deserving of love and happiness as the next person. No, I am not the problem.

High school is nothing like junior high. Junior high involved me being bold and bright and outgoing. Here at Maple Burrow, it’s all about blending in and keeping my head down.

What I wanted wasn’t a group of people like me, but a group of people who accept me.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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11 responses to “Review: Dirty London – Kelley York

  1. Dirty London sounds amazing, Lexxie. I’m excited that London is suck a strong heroine, despite all the prejudice she’s dealing with. I’m glad her story was told so realistically, too. This is definitely going atop Mt. TBR. 🙂

    Happy Monday, my dear. 85 more days!! **BIG HUGS**

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged ~ #54
    • Yeah, it was a really good story to read, Brandee, and London is the kind of YA / NA heroine I love reading about 🙂
      Oh my goodness!! 85 days?!? I can’t wait. *BIG HUGS*

  2. Oh Lexxie Dirty London sounds absolutely amazing. I love how strong of an impact this one has and London’s characterization. Having a strong female heroine dealing sterotypes and prejudice is always rewarding in a novel if it’s done right. I’m definitely keep my eye out for this one!

    • Yeah, it is a really good story, Lily. I would actually enjoy reading more about London, Jasmine and their friends and family 🙂
      Have a great afternoon!

  3. This seems like a fantastic book Lexxie! And THIS —> “But I refuse to think that there’s anything wrong with me. I am normal. I am a human being just as deserving of love and happiness as the next person. No, I am not the problem.” Such a powerful quote. I’m gonna have to add this to my TBR!!! Fabulous review! 😉

    Cristina recently posted: Which Ones Have You Read?
    • Yeah, that is a truly amazing quote, Cristina. And it’s so true, too. I hope you’ll enjoy Dirty London, it’s a really good story 🙂

  4. One of the things I enjoy with LGBT YA is that the protagonist’s problems are not all about the highschool drama… And Dirty London would be an excellent story to start with, Michelle.

    • Thanks so much for the recommendation, Cayce, it was a lovely story, and London a great protag. There were so many quoatable quotes, too, I’m glad I picked one you agree with 😉

  5. I just added it to my TBR list. Now I have to check if my library has it. This sounds great! The idea of being the same but different and trying to get the people around you to see that along with yourself, that’s a heartbreaking/amazing road. Oh, I loved One Man Guy, finished it a few weeks ago. Have you tried the lighting a candle while cutting onions trick yet?

    I hope you have a great week, Lexxie!!

    Robyn Jones recently posted: 20 Things You Don't Know About Me

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